A Message from Spinal Injuries Ireland CEO Fiona Bolger

As summer officially started in May and the vaccination programme rolls out we have a lot to be positive about although we are not experiencing the fabulous weather that we got in 2020. We live in hope that we will receive some of that Mediterranean heat over the summer months and that we all have the freedom to get out and enjoy it.

We know from all the calls and emails that we have received from you that people found the whole vaccination rollout quite frustrating. Spinal Injuries Ireland joined with the Neurological Alliance and the Disability Federation of Ireland to lobby on your behalf. We know from feedback that some of you are still not vaccinated and we recommend that you stay in contact with your GP. If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact us.

As an organisation we field, on average, 5000 service user interactions monthly and we have been working over the last 6 months to redevelop our website so that it becomes the primary source of information for you. In the coming weeks we hope to start a community forum on the website whereby you can chat with your peers and discuss any matter that may be worrying for you.

April was a very positive month for the spinal cord community in Ireland. Firstly, the Mater Hospital was announced as the major trauma centre and we were delighted that SII’s Head of Services was invited to the announcement as the patient representative along with Minister Stephen Donnelly, Mr Keith Synnott and Dr Éimear Smith. We very much welcome this very important step in implementing the Major Trauma Strategy which was proposed in 2018. Receiving the right care, at the right time in the right place is paramount to reduce the odds of severe disability and death caused by major trauma incidents. Investment in rehabilitation and follow on care in the community must also be funded as part of this strategy.

On the 29th April, we were delighted to announce SII’s affiliation to the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. This partnership was over a year in the making while we discussed common practices and how we could improve services and work on research projects. As you all know Spinal Injuries Ireland very much focuses on care post injury and how we assist people to live their best lives post injury. This affiliation now also gives us an opportunity to be part of a global community who continues to research best therapies for people with a spinal cord injury and also to focus on a cure in the future.

As you know prior to Covid we used to run educational meeting and coffee mornings in person around the country. Now that we have moved these online, more people can join from the comfort of their own chairs. If you haven’t checked out our events, please do so here https://spinalinjuries.ie/allevents/
Finally as you know we work closely with the NRH. One of the key annual events is Womens Day which unfortunately had to be cancelled in 2020 but this year it has been decided to hold a virtual event with loads of wellness ideas and speakers and plenty of spot prizes. So make sure you put May 27th in your diary and we will send you details nearer the time. And men, your day will be in the autumn!

Enjoy the summer and if we can ever do anything for you please do not hesitate to contact us

Kind Regards

Fiona Bolger


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